The fruit was for a tart, using the second half of some extremely short pastry I'd made the day before. The first half did turn into a rhubarb tart with some rhubarb I'd found earlier. The tart was open-faced, and firmed up with a little custard poured over near the end of baking. I made it at my friend Pattie's house, baked it in her convection oven. I've never baked in a convection oven before. Is it better for pies? Or is it just generally faster? or? The pie, improvised, as ever, turned out beautifully. Last night's, all apples, was melty and delish, the apples still slightly resistant to the bite, which I love. I had a small bowl of it left over for breakfast this morning.
But I started talking about Potz at 4 Life for another reason. I told him yesterday that I was planning to grill the wonderful-looking steak I'd bought from him ten days ago (frozen; and at the time he didn't remember the price of the cut, so though I had it in my freezer for a week, it was only paid for on Friday!). Potz put a generous handful of wild leeks in my hand. "If you're grilling meat, just put these on the grill alongside," he said. I did, after brushing them with a little olive oil. They were gorgeous, beautiful on a yellow Fiesta ware plate, and a delish treat seasoned with a sprinkle of Malden salt.
And the beef? Well that too was delish, local pasture-fed Ontario beef. I sliced it thinly, then made a simple "yam neua", Thai grilled beef salad, with just slices of shallot (Asia purple ones), generous garden mint and some store-bought Thai basil, tossed with a lime juice-fish sauce dressing. I left out chiles because our friend Dina stops breathing if she has any chile (very inconvenient, a sensitivity to capsaicin!) and even in this altered version the salad vanished.
There was a small crowd of friends here yesterday evening, eating and drinking and talking. The excuse (do we ever really need one?) was that Dom has finished his undergrad, Ian is leaving tomorrow for Thailand, and Melissa has just arrived from Chiang Mai, so we thought we' d pause to enjoy the moment. It was a kind of improvised celebration, I guess you could say. (Yesterday was also mothers' day. Every day is mothers' day, of course. I find I can accept the Hallmark thing though, because it is a good idea that at least once in a year people get formally reminded of mothers' essential role in the universe! Don't you agree?)
And what better way to celebrate all good things than by hanging around with friends, being warmed by the extended family? I can't think of anything I like more.
and for those who want more about the food people brought:
there was prosciutto with sliced figs and lots of lime wedges [I originally wrote "lemon wedges" and then was firmly corrected by Trisha "I ALWAYS use lime wedges, if I have them, with prosciutto!"]; there was a pile of grilled chicken wings from Kung with her fabulous nam jeem (hot and sweet and tart dipping sauce); there was another Thai beef salad from Ben and Susan; an asparagus salad from Emily; a beet and endive and onion salad from Hilary; two great dips from Anne: a hummous and a tapaenade; a Thai red curry with fried tofu, shiitakes, and green eggplants; a plain cake; a huge tin of chocolate chip cookies made with chopped good chocolate; the apple tart; a ricotta galette from Dawn; a huge lasagna from Ethan; and wine of various descriptions from many people. Warm thoughts and thanks to all...